watercolor, ink painting of roses by emily weil

daily painting | roses

Tired, so tired. Friends at times remind me how taxing caregiving is, and how exhausting grieving is. Yes and amen; I’m there. And trying to cut myself some slack as I hear inner voices telling me I’m lazy or I should be more productive. Get back, mean critics who live in my head! Go and bully someone else (happy to share a few suggestions).

I have frequent conversations with myself. Sometimes I am gentle and follow my therapist’s direction to be as loving and compassionate with myself as I am with my dying, vulnerable brother. Sometimes I feel like an utter failure in life, wondering how I got here. Other times I think I am brave and sturdy, getting up every day and moving forward. 

My dear bro is considering end-of-life options, perhaps employing MAID — Medical Assistance in Dying. Either with this choice or letting the cancer take over his brain, he has an abbreviated future. And I support whatever he chooses. It is, after all, completely up to him. Some in the fam disapprove of this possibility and I hope he follows his own truth. He’s so steady — a decent and kind man. The staff in his skilled nursing facility are fond of him as he is not demanding or difficult. But his life is small and getting smaller, and though he is not in pain, it isn’t a happy existence. And he lets me frequently pester him to get up and take a walk outside or ask him to tell me anecdotes from his 79 years on the planet or discuss the dynamics in our family or explore death options. These moments are often sweet and intimate and I will hold them dearly in my heart for the rest of my years. I am deeply grateful. 

10″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pastel on paper = $130




watercolor painting of rose by emily weil

daily painting | small rose

So I wrote a blog entry this morning, and it was fine, and I posted it. But I’m rewriting it to talk about other stuff. Like showing up. Like getting out of bed when I feel completely at sixes and sevens but moving forward anyway and washing the dishes and making my tea. Like meeting a contractor who showed up to bid on my dry rot house repair project and disliking him so thoroughly (arrogant, aggressive, gallingly rude with slight notes of slime) I tried to think of someone I could call just to complain for a minute. Like feeling so out of sorts last night I had to just sit with it, in spite of having dinner with a loving friend who does not quail when I cry, but hugs and comforts me — I was so raggedy even his kindness rubbed the wrong way. Once again I’m talking to myself and remembering that, after my mom died, I felt out of sorts for many months. It’s been 3 months and 9 days since my older sister committed suicide and I’m trying to cut myself some slack, looking to be kind and gentle with that shocked, grieving and heartbroken self. The jarring fact of the deaths of both my sisters still stuns me, so I’m rambling, trying to get a clear focus. On anything. I’m working my way through it and thank you for holding me with kindness and patience. [I painted this small rose from a bouquet I brought for my art students to paint last weekend.]

7.25″ x 8″ sticks-and-ink, watercolor on paper = $75




watercolor and ink drawing of roses by emily weil

daily painting | berkeley roses

There’s something about the front yards in Berkeley. I have come across plants and bushes and flowers that I’ve never seen before — it is interesting and fun to roam around the neighborhoods while visiting a friend or walking from the auto shop or doing other walkabouts. These roses are the size of dinner plates — full, lush, open and gorgeous, like big trusting faces. The buds seem normal-sized, but the open blooms are enormous; this large rosebush hanging over a front yard fence stopped me in my tracks. What a gift it is to stumble across such beauty. 

10″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $130




daily painting | lenka’s rose

I have a very sweet friend and her name is Lenka. Originally from Prague, Lenka is a kind, giving and supportive person. Before I headed up to Seattle a few weeks ago to be with my ailing sister, she came over and brought me this gorgeous rose from her garden. It bolstered my heart and charmed and warmed me. I’m not super crazy about this painting, but it cheered me to paint from the photo I took before I headed up to this chilly and wet and gorgeous part of the world that is Washington state. Time with family and time with dear friends. A sad, rich, love-filled, heart-wrenching, vital, sorrowful time.

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper